Infant Skull Fracture Lawsuit
This article has been fact checked by an experienced birth injury attorney. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.
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Although there are many advances in medicine that have made childbirth so much safer, there are still certain instances in which newborns are injured. Only little thing that goes wrong during childbirth can lead to injuries.
One injury, in particular, is a skull fracture. A baby’s skull is delicate, and although flexible, is also vulnerable to being fractured as it comes out of the womb.
In some instances, a fracture may happen spontaneously, simply as a result of the head is under pressure from the mother’s pelvic bones and birth canal. In other cases, though, the fracture of a newborn’s skull may be caused by a doctor, nurse, or midwife’s error.
A skull fracture may be mild, but it can also be severe and put a child at risk for lasting brain damage or even death. An infant skull fracture lawsuit is a way for parents to get justice and compensation on behalf of an injured child.
Infant Skull Fractures: How They Happen
The newborn skull is different from the skull of an adult or older child. It is made up of plates held together by flexible sutures. These don’t solidify until the child is older so that the brain can grow in an expanding skull. The flexibility of the infant skull also allows it to go through delivery, with sometimes extreme pressure and forces on it, and come out intact.
A newborn’s skull is also delicate and vulnerable to injury when something goes wrong during or shortly after childbirth. During childbirth, the number one cause of skull fractures is the use of instruments.
Doctors sometimes use forceps to grip and pull on an infant as it emerges or vacuum extractors to suction the infant out of the birth canal. In either instance, the instrument can be used forcefully enough to fracture the skull. After a child is born, mishandling a newborn can also lead to injury to the skull, such as dropping the baby.
Consequences of a Skull Fracture
Sometimes a skull fracture in an infant is minor and linear, meaning that it does not cause the plates of the skull to move. These linear fractures typically heal with time and do not cause lasting damage. Other types of fractures, or more severe linear fractures, can create real, serious harm.
A depressed fracture, for instance, often causes hemorrhaging or bleeding on the brain. This puts pressure on the brain and can cause brain damage and even the death of the infant if not treated immediately.
If a baby suffers brain damage from a fracture, he may live with a disability for the rest of his life. Brain damage at birth can cause developmental delays, cognitive impairments, seizure disorders, behavioral disorders, and even paralysis. The consequences of brain damage from a skull fracture may require lifelong care, treatment, and interventions.
Negligence and an Infant Skull Fracture Lawsuit
For parents who believe that their infant’s skull fracture could and should have been prevented, that it was the result of an error made by a medical caregiver, a lawsuit is a legal avenue to seek compensation and justice.
A medical error that causes a skull fracture can have lasting implications for a child and his family. There is the loss of a healthy life, the possibility that a parent will have to stay home from work, the costs of treatment and care, and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
An infant skull fracture lawsuit can help devastated parents get a sense of justice. If you believe that your doctor caused the baby’s injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Doing so gives you a not only feeling of justice, but it also puts pressure on those responsible for taking better care in the future. This, in turn, protects children yet to be born.
How to File an Infant Skull Fracture Lawsuit
To file a lawsuit is not necessarily straightforward, and there are many steps along the way that will be complicated. You don’t have to do it on your own, though. To begin with your lawsuit, first, find a good lawyer to take care of all the details for you.
An experienced birth injury and medical malpractice lawyer will know what to do and will be able to tell you what you need to do, such as keeping medical records and recollecting what happened when your child was born.
Your lawyer will have the most critical responsibility of making a strong case that medical malpractice caused your child’s injury. Your lawyer will collect evidence to show that the medical caregiver you entrusted with the care of your baby made an error in judgment and that the mistake led directly to your child’s injury and resulting disability.
What You Can Claim in a Skull Fracture Lawsuit
In addition to bringing the responsible parties to justice for medical errors, your case will also be a way for you to get compensation on behalf of your child. Other parents have won millions for their children in birth injury cases, and you may be able to as well if you and your lawyer can make a strong case for medical malpractice.
Among the things that you can claim in a lawsuit is compensation to cover all current medical bills related to the skull fracture as well as future expected medical bills. You can claim for the specialized care and treatment you expect your child to need and the expense of travel to get those services.
You can claim for lost wages if you or a spouse are forced to leave work to care for your child. You can also claim for intangible costs like emotional pain and suffering or loss of a normal life for your child. A lawsuit may be the most important thing you do for your child and his future care.
Infant Skull Fracture Lawsuit Leads to $10.3 Million Verdict
In 2016, a Texas mother won $10.3 million from a jury that heard her case and was convinced the doctor was to blame in the child’s skull fracture and death.
The doctor used forceps on the baby’s head, and the mother described hearing a pop as they broke her child’s skull. Just five days later, the baby died from the resulting complications. The mother also argued that she had pushed for a Cesarean section but that the doctor convinced her she didn’t need the procedure.
If the mother had been taken seriously after discussing concerns with her doctor, and if he had performed the Cesarean section initially, her baby might still be alive.
If you believe that your child’s skull fracture was also the result of a poor medical judgment or an error, you can try for a settlement that will bring justice and compensation on behalf of your child.